Vintage romance tonight.

 

Vintage Romance: Maude Mockridge, English Lady Romance Novelist

A Movie Review By Dianthe Bells
Author of Secrets and Imagination

 

 Gold wedding rings for romance.

 

Doris Lloyd takes on the character of Miss Maude Mockridge, English lady romance novelist in the twisty Dangerous Corner (1934 US). Forget the plot and surprise ending; just study Maud.

 

(Virginia Bruce as Ann, Melvyn Douglas as Charles)

 

Publishing partners Ann and Charles are also romantically flitting around each other, though this has been pushed aside in the busyness of manuscripts and authors.

 

Opening scene: Ann is about to host a breakfast interview on her apartment balcony for Romance author Maude Mockridge. The English lady novelist has already published "A Flame", "Scarlet Flowers", "Burnt Wings" and "Paradise For Two". Over kippers and toast they discuss her new book "Ecstasy" and a possible contract before Maude travels back to England.

 

Charles arrives unexpectedly before Miss Mockridge and lighthearted romance takes place. The maid answers the door to the famous dame of love.

 

Ann, anxious about being discovered with a man in her apartment before breakfast declares to Charles: "Stand in the middle of floor and look innocent."

 

Charles: "Yeah, that's our great trouble. We are innocent. All we ever do is stand in the middle of the room."

 

Maude Mockridge's bosom rises in poetic moral amusement: "I came in a minute too early. He lingered a moment too late in fond farewell."

 

She adds in haste: "I have my own moral code. It's quite simple. Two baths a day and mind your manners."

 

Later that morning Ann joyfully announces to her publishing partners that she has secured a three year contact with Miss Mockridge. Next month "Ecstasy" will be ready. Six months later "Emma The Passionate" and in one year "Sleeping Dog".

 

Some time passes and the partners gather for a dinner party where Maude's new novel "Sleeping Dogs" brings a foam of questions about truth. The title is based on an old proverb meaning don't disturb the truth.

 

Charles: "Which the chief character, the husband, insisted on disturbing with strange and disastrous consequences."

 

The truth is questioned by all. Ann: "Well there's truth; and then there's truth."

 

A bagful of views on truth and complete truth is unloosed. Arguments arise and Maude is mentally taking notes of the situation. Perhaps she is adding to her mind's collection of notes for future novels? She leaves with a Miss Marple style "Goodbye" thus showing her dislike of unharmonious gatherings.

 

Maude Mockridge is a wonderful example of the 1930's style romance author... refined, sophisticated, unhurried, and sought after by a sighing following of women. Publishers wooed her. Not crimped by the winds of today's frantic marketing, she was free to do what authors do best.  She just wrote!

 

 

 

 

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